Robert Vinet

Insatiably Curious

Tag: South Korea (page 1 of 2)

Most expensive cities for expats and foreign employees in 2018

According to Mercer’s Annual Cost of Living Survey:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Tokyo
  3. Zurich
  4. Singapore
  5. Seoul
  6. Luanda
  7. Shanghai
  8. Ndjamena
  9. Beijing
  10. Bern

Best of the best travel destinations; Punishing treadmills; Gas prices 20% higher than last year; Epidemic of dishonesty; Are you in the wrong room?; A trainable dog-like robot; Banning trans fats; Israel turns 70

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” ~ Mathieu Flamini

A Toronto mother — who donated one of her kidneys to her six-year-old son — received the greatest gift for Mother’s Day when her son was discharged from the hospital. – CTV News

Ear Worm: The Mister Softee jingle has lyrics. Who knew? – The Daily Meal

Michael Bloomberg warns of an ‘epidemic of dishonesty‘ – Associated Press

Using less plastic leads to fewer harmful chemicals in the body – Tree Hugger

24 lists combined to find the top travel destinations for 2018Forbes

  • Top 10 are: 1) Mexico; 2) Australia; 3) Italy; tied for 4th) Canada and Spain; 6) South Korea; tied for 7th) California, China, and Louisiana; tied for 10th) Argentina, Malta, and Portugal.

Boston Dynamics to start selling its dog-like SpotMini robot in 2019 – TechCrunch // Will not be as adorable but will it be easier to train than Skye, my Cairn Terrier.

The World Health Organization wants all countries to ban trans fats from foodsCBC  Trans fats increase the risk of heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death around the world. Denmark banned them 15 years ago. Canada’s ban take effect this September.

Wowzers! The average price of gasoline in Canada has hit $1.38 a litre. That’s about $4.11 US per US dollar. And don’t expect any relief any time soon. – Globe and Mail (paywall) // That is more than 20% higher than the rate of about $1.10 a year ago. That difference adds up to an extra $14 per fill for the typical driver who pumps 50 litres of fuel a week.

Treadmills were originally designed to punish prisoners – Quartz

Israel celebrates it’s 70th by shooting and killing 41 58 Palestinians (and wounding another 1,600) protesting along the border fence over the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem – Washington Post, BBC

~~~

May 14

1643: Four-year-old Louis XIV becomes King of France. Louis the Great rules until he died in 1715.

1948: David Ben-Gurion publicly read the Israeli Declaration of Independence at the present-day Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, officially establishing the state of Israel.

1973: The NASA space station Skylab was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

1984: Jeanne Sauve is sworn in as Canada’s first female governor general. She stays in office until January 28, 1990.

Experiences over gifts for Mother’s Day; Vanilla ice cream is under threat; Nelson Mandela: Let freedom reign; Trudeau regrets U.S. President’s Iran decision; The real Dr. Drai

Tourism’s carbon impact three times larger than estimated – BBC

Mom’s prefer experiences over gifts on Mother’s Day – Globe and Mail

Vanilla ice cream is under threat. A huge spike in pure vanilla extract prices is making some bakeries and ice cream makers think twice about whether to keep making it. We might be stuck with chocolate to help cool down – CBC

South Korea is cracking down on texting while walking with an app that locks devices after detecting  users have been walking for more than five steps while using their phones. – Yonhap News Agency

On Wednesday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a thinly veiled rebut to the U.S. President’s backing out of the Iran nuclear weapons deal and stressed Canada remains aligned with most countries in supporting the deal – Globe and Mail This was a rare and complex deal that involved many countries. Not unlike what we are going through with North Korea, the issues on the table are pretty complex. Lets hope the rest of the world can take the lead where the US breaks promises and signed agreements, because the U.S. President is dropping the ball with his America First/America Alone policy and the world is a more dangerous place because of it.

Dr. Dre lost a trademark court battle with a gynecologist. The raper argued that Dr. Drai, the real doctor, would cause confusion among fans. – Chicago Tribune

~~~

May 10

1994Nelson Mandela was sworn into office as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. This was a day to celebrate a historic victory over a racist regime. “Let freedom reign,” Mandela said in his inauguration speech.

Five countries where people live the longest

Lindsey Galloway writing for BBC Travel:

In these countries, people live substantially longer than the worldwide average of 71 years – and each place has its own reason of vitality.

  • Japan – The Japanese live to 83 on average.

Much credit for this has been given to the local diet, which includes plentiful tofu and sweet potato, and a small amount of fish. Active social circles among older residents and a strong community also contribute to lower levels of stress and a strong sense of belonging.

  • Spain

The Mediterranean diet, rich in heart-healthy olive oil, vegetables and wine, has long contributed to Spain’s long-lived population (averaging 82.8). But Spain has another longevity secret up its sleeve: the siesta.

  • Singapore

With broad access to the country’s state-of-the-art medical facilities and what’s been called a ‘miracle’ healthcare system, Singaporeans are living longer than ever at an average of 83.1 years old. The country has one of the lowest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world, and makes preventative care a focus of its healthcare.

  • Switzerland

Men fare better in Switzerland than anywhere else in the world, living to be 81 on average. As one of Europe’s wealthiest countries, access to high-quality healthcare, strong personal safety and sense of wellbeing contributes to the high rank – with some studies even pointing to the country’s high intake of cheese and dairy as a leading factor.

  • South Korea

South Korea is set to be the first country to hit a life expectancy of 90 years according to recent research, which credits a strong and growing economy, broad access to healthcare and lower blood pressure than Western countries for its upward trajectory.

Is it time for permanent Olympic venues? Why almost no one wants to host the Games anymore

Zeeshan Aleem, Vox:

Pyeongchang, South Korea, built a brand new Olympic stadium to host the Winter Games this year. The 35,000-seat stadium cost $109 million to build. And it will be used just four times before it’s demolished.

It’s become too expensive to stage either the summer or winter Olympic Games. Extravagant installations, infrastructure upgrades, security, etc. do not make debt laden Olympics investments for the host state.

The costs of hosting the Olympics have skyrocketed. The 2012 Summer Games in London cost over US$15 billion. The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia cost an estimated US$22 billion to build and stage. While there was probably corruption involved in Russia’s inflated hosting costs, the economic benefits are far from clear and this has led to fewer countries interested in playing host.

For the 2024 Games, the International Olympic Committee decided to do something unprecedented: Instead of choosing between the only two bidders, Paris and Los Angeles, it decided to award Paris the 2024 Summer Olympics and give Los Angeles the 2028 Summer Olympics. Experts say the IOC decided to give them out at the same time for a simple reason — it was afraid no city would want to host the tournament by the time the 2028 bidding started.

And

Since 1960, no Olympic Games have come in under budget. In fact, nearly half of them end up costing more than twice as much as expected. Additionally, cities tend to find that most of the stadiums, fields, courts, and other facilities that they built for the games are simply useless after the Olympics are over. Their enormous size makes them difficult for athletes to use and for fans to fill up.

The Games are also suppose to attract tourists and showcase the host city while celebrating the best athletes and athletic competition. However, the empty seats most venues at the Pyeongchang Olympics suggest that hasn’t happened for South Korea.

With increasing costs and climate change affecting the Winter Olympics, is there an argument to be made for permanent Olympic installations?

More:

Why it’s innovative—not wasteful—to destroy the Pyeongchang Olympic stadium – Josh Horwitz, Quartz

The Economics of Hosting the Olympic Games – James McBride, Council on Foreign Relations

 

27 Medals (so far)

When Canadian figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond won the bronze on medal today in Pyeongchang, it was the country’s record 27th medal.

 

Canada sets national record with 27 Olympic medals – Myles Dichter, CBC Sports:

Canadians have won 10 gold medals in South Korea so far, to go along with eight silver and nine bronze.

And

The 27 medals also represent Canada’s second biggest haul for any Olympics ever, behind the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles where the Soviet Union and 15 other countries boycotted. Canada won 44 medals in Los Angeles.

With a couple more days of competition to go, Norway, with 37, will surely finish first on the overall medals-won table. However, Canada is currently in second, which would also be a best-ever result.

Winter Olympics Day 11 Highlights

CBC Sports:

Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir skated their way to gold with an historic performance at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. They are the second pair to win two ice dance titles, joining Russia’s Pasha Grishuk and Evgeniy Platov, who earned back-to-back gold medals in 1994 and 1998. Virtue and Moir tied a figure skating ice dance world-record, total score of 206.07, with three Olympic golds, including last week’s Canada win in the team event.

Papadakis/Cizeron (FRA) are in second place with silver and Shiutani/Shibutani (USA) in third with bronze.

Canadian skier Cassie Sharpe, who suffered a broken thumb in her final pre-Olympic competition in late January, put down incredible runs in the halfpipe for top place with a score of 95.80. France’s Marie Martinod won silver.

Marianne St-Gelais, Kim Boutin, Valérie Maltais and Kasandra Bradette missed out on what appeared to be a guaranteed medal in the 3,000-metre relay final after being penalized.

Homan and the women’s curling team lost 7-5 to China and must win their final two games to qualify for the playoffs. Men’s curling team defeated Japan 8-4.

Korea bows out of men’s hockey with tears and cheers as Finland edges them to set up a meeting with Canada. The United States beat Slovakia.

Canada’s sweethearts Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir win Olympic ice dance gold

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won their fifth Olympic medal by taking gold in the ice dance competition.

Here is Tessa and Scott’s short program from Monday, February 19.

CBC Sports:

Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir set a new record for the short dance on Monday, February 19 at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Dancing to Samba, Rhumba, Cha Cha, they scored 44.53 on their technical elements:

1 Not Touching Midline Step Sequence 4 (11.90)
2 Rhumba 1st Seq 4 (6.37)
3 Pattern Dance Type Step Sequence 4 (11.74)
4 Synchronized Twizzles 4 (8.31)
5 Rotational Lift 4 (6.21)

Their factored components score was 39.14:
Skating Skills (9.68)
Transitions (9.61)
Performance (9.93)
Composition (9.79)
Interpretation of the Music/Timing (9.93)

 

The next night was Tessa and Scott’s last Olympic skate. Canada’s flag-bearers defeated their rivals from France by less than a point. They later said that prior to their performance they had no idea the French team had just set a world record in their skate.

CBC Sport:

A golden day for legendary Canadian Olympians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who set another world record in figure skating free dance with a total score of 206.07 at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Virtue and Moir received a career-best score of 122.40 for their historic free dance, performing to Moulin Rouge version of Roxanne and reached the podium with their second gold and a third Olympic medal.

They are the second pair in the world to have won back-to-back Olympic gold, joining Russia’s Pasha Grishuk and Evgeni Platov, who earned theirs in 1994 and 1998.

 

Here is an interviewed of the two by CBC’s Heather Hiscox after receiving their gold medals.

CBC News:

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have won ice dance gold after an overall record-breaking performance at the 2018 Winter Olympics. They spoke with the CBC’s Heather Hiscox about their big win in Pyeongchang.

Video: Winter Olympics Day 9 Highlights

CBC Sports:

Day 9 of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea saw Canadian freestyle skier Alex Beaulieu-Marchand land on the podium with a score of 92.40 and a bronze in the men’s ski slopestyle final. Norway’s Braaten Oystein took gold with the top score of 95.00, followed by American Nick Goepper who earned silver with a score of 93.60.

Canada secured a spot in the quarter-finals after a 4-0 win over South Korea in men’s hockey but in curling Sweden stole a win over Canada 5-2. Women’s curling team turned things around with a 10-18 victory over Switzerland.

Europeans stole the show on the mountain and plains as Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher became the second athlete to earn two individual golds in Pyeongchang after winning the men’s giant slalom. Hirscher who also won the men’s alpine combined and biathlete Laura Dahlmeier are the only Olympians so far to have done so. Hirscher has a shot at more.

Oleksandr Abramenko won gold in freestyle skiing aerials while Olivier Rochon, the only Canadian to reach the men’s aerials finals, finished fifth and did not make it to the podium. The men’s team pursuit speed skaters failed to advance to the semis. On the women’s side, Marsha Hudey was 10th and Heather McLean finished 14th in the women’s 500-metre finals while Nao Kodaira of Japan took the top spot followed by Lee Sang-Hwa (KOR) in second and Karolina Erbanova (CZE) in third.

Norway won their 11th cross-country medal and 5th gold in the men’s 4×10-kilometre relay while Canada, competing without Alex Harvey after he dropped out of the event, finished ninth.

Video: Winter Olympics Day 8 Highlights

From CBC Sports:

Canada’s short track skaters had a great day 8 at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Samuel Girard won Canada’s first short track gold at his first Olympics in the men’s 1000 m final and becomes the first North American skater to win gold at this distance. Veteran Canadian speed skater Charles Hamelin missed the final after being assessed a penalty in the semifinal. On the women’s side, Kim Boutin who was the target of online threats from Korean supporters after her first bronze, captured another one winning Canada’s first-ever medal in the 1500 m.

Canada’s Patrick Chan finished 9th in his final Olympic figure skating appearance with 173.42 points skating to Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, while Keegan Messing placed 12th as he skated to Medley, another Charlie Chaplin number, and scored 170.32, his new season’s best by about 9 points. Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan however won back-to-back at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games as he defended his Olympic title in the men’s free skate with another powerful performance to Seimei (soundtrack) by S. Umebayashi.

In the men’s hockey, 3-2 in a shootout and in the women’s, Finland beat Sweden to move on to the semifinals.

In women’s curling Rachel Homan ended her losing skid and rebounded in a big way against the United States leading Canada to a dominant 11-3 victory while Kevin Koe’s Canadian rink lost its first game.

More gold for Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold who she set a new record in women’s skeleton and won by a huge margin, Switzerland’s Sarah Hoefflin in freestyle skiing slopestyle, and Poland’s Kamil Stock in men’s in ski jumping large hill.

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